While your board may not like it, Airbnb and similar home rental sites are part of the new normal. It is important that your board identify the best ways to work with and manage home rentals in your community. They can pose significant risk to both the association and homeowner due to the liability exposure.
Rather than fight the growing trend, today we want to talk about the things your community and homeowners can do to protect your investment(s).
- Review and update bylaws to include protective language specific to vacation or home rental websites.
- Consider adding an amendment that requires all rental leases be in writing and include a copy of the association’s bylaws and/or rules and regulations.
- Communicate rules and regulations regarding vacation rentals in the community with owners. Just because your bylaws address the issues doesn’t mean homeowners are familiar. Take the time to highlight rules specific to the subject before issues arise. Since ongoing communication is so important, here are some recommended talking points to use with your owners:
- Review rental restrictions.
- Go over the board’s rental review process.
- Highlight the consequences of disregarding bylaws regarding renting homes out on these sites without following the rules and regulations.
- Talk about the liability owners take on when renting their property and how it can affect them and the community as a whole.
- Identify guest registration requirements.
- Talk about ways for owners who rent their homes to be proactive in protecting their assets. This can include careful vetting of renters and carrying proper insurance. Not all insurance policies cover damage done by renters, so encourage owners to talk with an agent to make sure they’re properly covered.
These vacation home rental and house swap sites aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it is important that your community be proactive. Take time to review bylaws, talk with lawyers to see what is within the rights of the association to control, and work with owners to develop a system that leaves everyone feeling heard and respected.